Tunisian president Rached re-elected
TUNIS—The president of Tunisia’s Islamist Ennahda party was reelected Monday, as the group meets for a key congress to discuss separating religious and political activities.
Rached Ghannouchi, who won the ballot comfortably with 800 votes, about 570 more votes than the runner-up, said his party is keeping apace with changes in Tunisian society. Ennahda is a “Tunisian movement that is evolving with. Tunisia and is part of its evolution”, Ghannouchi said, according to local media.
“From today, we are seriously moving towards becoming a national and civil political party with an Islamic core, which operates under the country’s constitution and inspires Muslim and modern values,” he said.
Ghannouchi, 74 — an intellectual who once advocated a strict application of Islamic law — founded the Islamic Tendency Movement in 1981 along with others inspired by Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood. The movement became Ennahda in 1989. Will Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood follow in Tunisia’s Ennahda footsteps?
Banned under the dictatorship of strongman Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, the party was legalized after the 2011 uprising that kicked off the Arab Spring and ousted the veteran leader. Ghannouchi, who lived in exile for 20 years, returned to a triumphal welcome after the uprising and won post-revolution elections in October 2011.—Agencies